Dr. Jean King is the WPI Peterson family Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences. She also serves as a Professor of Biology and Biotechnology, affiliate Professor in Biomedical Engineering Department, Professor in the Neuroscience Program and Director, NeuroTech Suite at WPI. Prior to joining WPI, she was vice provost for biomedical research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; a tenured professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neurology; and director of the university’s Center for Comparative Neuroimaging. She retains a lab and Adjunct Professorship at Umass Medical School, Worcester MA.
Dr. King’s research uses multi-modal approaches to identify and characterize neuronal plasticity and behavioral modifications associated with stress and resilience- with emphasis on focus areas like mindfulness, addiction, ADHD, depression, fearfulness, anxiety, neurological disorders, aging, cognition, pain and sex differences in model systems and humans with the hope of finding clues to help us better understand these conditions and disorders. Her new lab utilizes a translational approach which incorporates both clinical research and pre- clinical studies. In 2018, she helped launched the Neuroscience Initiative at WPI, fostering the establishment of a graduate program and an interdisciplinary Neurotechnology Suite at PracticePoint. The suite has a number of experienced faculty in areas like data-science, computational biology, EEG, eye-tracking, sensors, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), FNIRS and physiological monitoring. This multimodal hub supports innovative collaboration to advance our understanding of critical topics in neuroscience. The long-term goal of Dr. King’s research is to provide an understanding of the unique features of central mechanisms that regulate neurobehavioral health and wellbeing.
Dr. King has published over 100 original scientific publications including papers, book chapters and review articles in in highly respected international scientific journals. She also served as an editor of New York Academy of Sciences Publication-Roots of Mental Illness in Children. She has been a scientific consultant for the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, as well as the Veterans Administration.
Dr. King is passionate about mentoring and the diversification of the scientific workforce. She has won several mentoring awards, and serves on several Boards including acting as the Co-Chair of World Women in Neuroscience (WWN), member of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), and the NSF- funded COBRE – Neurobiological Institute/University of Puerto Rico.
Worcester News Tonight aired a story about a new mural at WPI created by internationally renowned graffiti artist Panmela Castro. Castro’s painting, which was done on a wall in Salisbury Labs, features Abby Kelley Foster, a 19th century women’s rights activist from Worcester. The work was done in celebration of Arts and Sciences week at WPI.
Diversity in Action magazine highlighted WPI's new Master of Science program in Neuroscience, which was spearheaded and instituted by Jean King, Peterson Family dean of Arts and Sciences. "The program will provide students with a strong foundation in computational, molecular, psychological, quantitative and interdisciplinary approaches to neuroscience, and is 'just a good blend of all the things that we do readily already, and where neuroscience as a field is emerging and where it is going,'" King said.